Some Publishers Abandoning Amazon

People in general don’t like monopolies, and why should they?  Monopoly – the term not the board game – is a bad word. Amazon.com is pretty darn close to a monopoly in the ebook world, and the behemoth has taken quite a few steps towards alienating publishers, including dictating prices and various other strong-arm tactics.

Writer John Oakes of Publishers Weekly recently penned a piece on this topic, profiling a smaller publisher that is focusing on direct sales to the consumer. Oakes writes…

Despite a computer on every desk and exciting new marketing tools online, we perpetuate the same old system, working through retailers and treating the electronic world as simply a tool to augment our presence in the real world. And it means wrestling with Amazon over how to sell.

Although we are certainly not abandoning the Amazon e-book platform, All Star Press is like many publishers in that we are also offering our books for sale right here on our website. There is no reason publishers can’t do both. Our view is that the All Star Press books should be available to everyone and anyone.

Check out our current inventory of e-books from All Star Press:

Quiet Spaces: Hearing God’s Call in a Noisy World

The House that Richard Built

Sleep Great for Life

The Road to Recovery: Overcoming and Moving Beyond Your Grief

 

Learning to Hear God’s Call

Excerpt from “Quiet Spaces: Hearing God’s in a Noisy World” by James Hale,

“Suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? … The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.” Acts 9:3-6

 

I don’t hear about this type of calling much these days—the kind when God’s voice is direct, thunderous, and absolute. What a joy to have His clear, unmistakable direction. “There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up” (Exodus 3).  Wouldn’t it be nice to get your calling via a burning bush or a loud, thundering voice?  Heck, I’d settle for a phone call, or even a text message or e-mail (if it would get through my spam filters).

It sure would make things easier for most of us if God would incorporate a little more drama into His messages.  But does the lack of bells and whistles mean that people are no longer called?  No, I don’t think so.  In fact, there is evidence of calling for only four of the apostles—we don’t know about the other eight.  And there is no evidence that Jesus ever experienced a direct call.

But surely Jesus was called.  Surely the Almighty sat down with our Savior for a theatrical Father-Son chat about His to-do list, His next steps, and His specific duties for the day.  If it’s in the Bible, I can’t find it.  Scripture tells us that Jesus was born of man, and He stayed connected to God by periodically removing Himself from the crowds so He could discern Divine will.  To communicate with God, Jesus turned the volume down on the harsh noise of the world so He could listen to the softer melodies from His Dad.  The Bible indicates that even for Jesus Himself—King of Kings, Lord of Lords—messages came during the quiet spaces.  God’s directions to Jesus did not intrude, scream, clatter, or demand attention.

 

CALLING?  WHAT CALLING?

I think God is pretty much the same now as He was thousands of years ago.  He hasn’t upgraded His technology.  For most of us, He tells us of our callings not through shouts, but through whispers—just like He did with Jesus.  And if we aren’t paying attention, we will miss them.

There are two types of callings: the loud, drama-filled, unmistakable directions that make the good Bible stories, and the quieter, more subtle, personal nudges meant for one person.  These latter ones are not intended for public viewing.  They are soft, personal, one-to-one messages from God to someone for whom He has a purpose.  Maybe for you.

Of the two, the quieter ones are the more common, but less understood. These are ones that Jesus and so many others experienced in biblical times … and today.  It’s these quieter callings I want to talk about for a moment.  These are much more subtle than the dramatic ones.  These messages cascade gently down from on high, and we DO hear them, but we often do not LISTEN to them.

The great physicist Albert Einstein understood the goodness of God—like most people do—but he also understood the quietness of so many of God’s greatest works and how we often miss his messages or think he’s being elusive or tricky.  Einstein observed that “God is subtle, but He is not malicious.” Yes, God is deep and profound, but not devious.  Understanding God often baffles and confuses us, but there is no deception, no false path.  God places the cookie jar within our sight, and invites us to stretch to reach it, without any traps in the way. He calls to us in quiet, subtle ways, and none of His callings are evil or misguided.  There are no tricks, no deceit, no misdirection.

Read more of James’ wonderful book and learn how to incorporate your true calling into your life.

 

Nothing Family Friendly about America’s Got Talent Host

3 porn stars on Stern's show. One of many times he featured porn stars.

[Warning: Adult language used in this post]

This 41-year-old, father of one, will not be watching NBC’s America’s Got Talent this season due to the hiring of new host, Howard Stern. This is a show I have watched along with my family every year since the first. Bottom line, Howard Stern adds nothing of value to the show, is a black eye for the program, and actually puts the family show at jeopardy. The first question that comes to mind – will they now be bleeping out the host of this show as FOX regularly does for their hosts on the “family friendly” American Idol show?

 

There is not enough bandwidth here on this site to list all the controversial things Stern has said over the years. Here is just a brief sampling. He really is a funny guy.

About the gunmen at the school massacre in Columbine:

‘Did those kids try to have sex with any of the good-looking girls?…If you’re going to kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn’t you have some sex?'”

 

About best actress Academy Awards nominee Gabourey Sidibe.

“[She is] the most enormous, fat black chick I’ve ever seen.”


About the recent scandal on American Soldiers Urinating on Dead Taliban Fighters:

“He’s shooting bullets into you, you’re shooting back, couple of your bodies died, you get done with an intense battle, you’re alive, you get out of it without a scratch, you’re f***ing crazed, you’re scared out of your mind, but you defended your country. You take out your c*ck and you piss on the enemy. You know what? So what. That’s war.”

 

On the 1st Amendment and the Republican Debates:

“The amazing thing to me–I’m watching these debates, the Republican debates–this Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, they are the two worst people on the planet. They get up wherever they can and they still feel comfortable getting up in front of an audience in 2012 and f***ing saying s**t about gays.”


About Ted Nugent, who has made controversial statements about President Obama:

I love that guy. He’s nuts…He’s one of those guys who kills deer, so he thinks he’s like, a tough guy…During the Vietnam War, he admits that he peed his own pants and s**t his pants for a week and went down there and got out of the draft. If he’s so tough, why don’t you go in the f***ing military…He talks about fighting for his freedoms. Who is he fighting,…deer? I mean who is he fighting? As far as I know he’s fighting deer…Why doesn’t he sign up for Afghanistan?…He should be playing Cat Scratch Fever at some fair, which is probably what frustrates him most…Just a big p**sy with a f***ing gun.

 

On former American Idol winner Fantasia Barrino:

“Hey Fantasia, you’re not getting little boys hard. Nobody’s beating off to you. Little boys want boners. They want a Britney Spears or a Rihanna.”

 

Do we need to re-read the Columbine comments again:

‘Did those kids try to have sex with any of the good-looking girls?…If you’re going to kill yourself and kill all the kids, why wouldn’t you have some sex?'”


Howard Stern is a “comedian” and a radio host. He has been very successful in his career, because there is a large enough audience that supports his type of humor and overall presentation. I don’t agree with it, but everyone has a right to their opinion and personal preferences.

 

A family-friendly show should have family-friendly hosts. Not hosts that you never know from one minute to the next what they might say and what they might have to bleep out.

 

How many excellent and talented celebrities are out there that would have fit the bill? There are plenty, but instead NBC chose Stern, who now gets a tremendous amount of free exposure to reach a new audience.

 

If you disagree with the decision to hire Howard Stern and you wish to send a message to NBC and the sponsors of America’s Got Talent, then click here and support the Parents’ Television Council.

 

Warning Signs of an Increased Stress Level

by Rich Nilsen,

One of the common behavioral reactions to stress can be an exaggeration of an existing habit.  Maybe one of your responses is overeating, and you suddenly notice yourself eating way more than you usually do.

These will be important factors to keep a close eye on after you solve your sleep disorder.  Insomnia can come back, but only if you let it.  Be confident that you won’t let that happen, because you will have established a solid foundation. Your precious sleep life will not be built on shifting sands.

The following are some red flags to watch out.  Feel free to add to this list based on your own experience.

  • Muscular tension and physical pain
  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Closing yourself off from others
  • Increased levels of bad habits – e.g. smoking, overeating.
  • Tics – face, eyes, etc.
  • Sweating
  • Fatigue
  • Increased need to urinate – often a sign of depression.
  • Ulcers
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling overwhelmed with your workload
  • Feeling overwhelmed with responsibilities
  • Mood swings
  • Lack of motivation
  • Other [list your own] ________________

 

(reprinted from “Sleep Great for Life,” rated 5 stars on Amazon.com and available in all e-book formats for anyone looking for a cure for their insomnia)

 

Bestseller Eye Floaters Solutions Book on Amazon only $.99 for Limited Time

Are you suffering with eye floaters? Here is help

Download for the Kindle today

Thousands and thousands of people suffer with a nagging problem known as muscae volitantes, or more commonly known as eye floaters. Author Chantal Romy suffered with this issue for over four years before developing solutions to dramatically reduce the occurrence of this little “buggers” from her field of vision.

The key to getting rid of this annoying problem is what author Chantal Romy refers to as the ‘secret weapon,’ an incredibly easy-to-apply solution for eye floaters (muscae volitantes). The beauty of this process, too, is that you can begin applying these steps the day you download this e-book. In a short time you can expect to see a dramatic decrease in the number of floaters that you view on a daily basis until they are no longer an issue in your life.

If your vision is affected by floaters then you can’t afford to miss reading this incredible book today. The process will take a few weeks but you can expect to see a dramatic reduction in eye floaters and soon they will not be a problem in your life.

For the next 48 hours this book is significantly reduced in price to only $.99.  Click here to download “The Eye Floaters Solutions to your Kindle eReader or read it online with the free Kindle Cloud.

Please note that this short e-book is not a medical guide or a scientific study, but rather the solutions discovered by a well educated person who suffered with floaters for many years.

“The Eye Floaters Solutions is currently 1st or in the top 2 of three different categories in the Amazon Kindle store.

"The Eye Floaters Solutions" ebook

“The House that Richard Built” New from All Star Press

The House That Richard Built

Download this wonderful book today

All Star Press, Books That Change Lives, is proud to release the ebook version of “The House That Richard Built.” This is a powerful book from James D. Smith that details the life lessons he learned as the son of a carpenter. It is available exclusively through Amazon.com for the Kindle eReader, Kindle App, and online through the Kindle Cloud.*

It’s true that we are all carpenters; we are all building something. We are building families, marriages, careers, relationships, and legacies. Do we have the right type of tools and instruction to build the life we want? You can learn about these power tools for life in the new e-book “The House that Richard Built” by author James D. Smith, a regular contributor to the blog here on AllStarPress.com

God has told us that He has “plans for you: plans to prosper you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11)

If God has these great plans for you, wouldn’t you want to build the awesome things that He has in store? The House that Richard Built will take you on a life-changing journey into the world of a master carpenter! Some of the things you will learn in this powerful life guide: What it means to “measure twice and cut once,” what to do when the roof comes crashing down, how to ensure you’re building on the right foundation, how to focus so you hit the nails, and much more! Lessons you will learn in The House That Richard Built include:

  • Start with a plan
  • The foundation must be strong
  • Measure twice, cut once
  • While it was still dark
  • Focus on the nail
  • No pain, no gain
  • If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right
  • You can’t do it all
  • You can’t judge a “house” by its cover
  • Nothing survives the fire!
  • Book sense but no common sense
  • People do you wrong, do right anyway
  • When the roof comes crashing down
  • Gone fishin!

It’s your life that’s always under construction. This book is the power tool you need to ensure that you build an awesome house, not just for you but also for your friends and loved ones! Author James Smith learned the lessons that he shares in this book by working with Richard, his stepfather, as a young man. In his life, he has been a soldier, a high school teacher, a college instructor, a trainer, and a graduate Bible student. He combines his varied life experiences and the skills of carpentry with biblical wisdom in a way that readers will find both useful and refreshing.

With sincerity and openness about his own life mistakes, James helps his readers identify and apply life lessons that will help them build the life that God has planned.

Download “The House that Richard Built” today and share it with your friends. You will not regret the day you learned the lessons of a carpenter.

* The Kindle Cloud is no different than reading a book online. No special software or reading device required.